The Hurt Locker

Director: Kathryn Bigelow

Cast: Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Christian Camargo, Guy Pearce, Ralph Fiennes, David Morse, Evangeline Lilly, Christopher Sayegh, Suhail Aldabbach, Nabil Koni, Sam Spruell, Sam Redford, Feisal Sadoun, Barrie Rice, Imad Dadudi, Erin Gann, Justin Campbell, Malcolm Barrett, Kristoffer Winter, J.J. Kandel, Ryan Tramont, Michael Desante, Hasan Darwish, Wasfi Amour, Nibras Quassem, Ben Thomas, Nader Tarawneh, Anas Wellman, Omar Mario, Fleming Campbell

Staff Sergeant William James (Renner) joins an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team at the height of the battle against the insurgents in Iraq. The three-man team is a US Army elite unit that has the extremely dangerous job of deactivating and removing explosive devices planted by terrorists. Sergeant J.T. Sanborn (Mackie) coordinates the teamís deployments and Specialist Owen Eldridge (Geraghty) operates the .50 cal machinegun in their Humvee and provides fire support. The team often operates in contested territory and must deal not only with bomb disposal, but with armed insurgents and terrorists. Sergeant Sanborn is responsible for getting the team to the place where explosives have been reported. Once there, his job and Eldridgeís is to provide cover for Sergeant James, the explosives expert, as he goes about the deactivation or destruction of the explosive device. Bravo Company has thirty-nine days left on its current deployment. The soldiers anticipate the day they can leave the hurt locker (very bad place) they find themselves in. Sgt. Sanborn is a stickler for procedure. He is disconcerted and then resentful when Sgt. James takes seemingly unwarranted risks. Surrounded by deadly hazards, Spc. Eldridge becomes increasingly tense. Eldridge receives psychological counseling from Colonel John Cambridge (Camargo). Col. Cambridge tries to help Eldridge deal with his distress, advising him to avoid dwelling on catastrophic scenarios. Bravo Companyís EOD team is sent daily from their barracks in a large Army base to deal with specific urgent threats. Several assignments take place in Baghdad, in situations where terrorists have placed bombs in business areas or war-torn but still occupied neighborhoods. Hidden among the civilians that gawk as the soldiers go about their business are terrorist trigger men waiting to detonate the explosives. The environment, full of uncertainty and danger, makes Spc. Eldridge anxious and indecisive and constantly worries Sgt. Sanborn. But Sgt. James has a set of talents that allow him to operate effectively in the war zone. He is very good at managing fear, and when needed can make split-second decisions. The film often has an utterly realistic, almost documentary feel to it. On the field of battle, under attack by insurgent snipers, Eldridge is flustered, Sanborn is tense, and James is alert and effective. William Jamesí actions help his team ultimately prevail in an extremely dangerous skirmish that takes the lives of several security contractors. The awareness of danger does not interfere with Jamesí actions; it helps to keep him alive. Wearing a special EOD armored suit, inches away from a powerful and complex explosive device, he concentrates on the puzzle-solving required to counter the bomb-makerís traps. When the team faces a seemingly insurmountable challenge, Jamesí skills, courage and determination must rise to a new level. Screenplay by Mark Boal.

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